The bragging rights among colleagues in the cell migration field for winning the “Dicty World Race” have inestimable value. So then why cash prizes for the scientists?
Prizes are the feedback you are giving to show that you care about the goals of the race as much as we do. Your feedback can stimulate creativity, attract scientists from other fields with fresh perspectives of the problem of cell migration, or motivate students to take on a fun science project and stick to research for a career. One of these scientists may find ways to modulate the migration of leukocytes in chronic inflammation, infections, or sepsis.
Sponsors are needed to make this event a success. If you’d like to contribute to the cause of cell migration, please visit our campaign page.
We will use the first $2,000 to make microfluidic devices that we will send to the participants so they can “train” and select their fastest cells for the race. For many biologists, this will be the first time they are exposed to microfluidic devices for the quantification of cell motility. The prototype designs have already been tested extensively in our lab and optimized for ease of use and robustness.
We will use the next $2,000 to cover the time and effort that will take a student in our lab to coordinate the interactions with all the teams signing up for the race. We will post training materials online for the participants, help every participating team fully engage in the race, identify companies to sponsor the event and build a simple website to serve as an information hub for the general public interested in science and biomedical advances.
We will use the next $2,000 to test the specific microfluidic maze designs that will be used for the race, purchase media, chemo-attractants, and fluorescent dyes to stain the cells for automated tracking of the cells. This will also cover processing the race results to identify the winner and analyzing the performances of the submitted cells to gain insight into which strategies worked and which didn’t work.
We will use the next $2,000 to cover the costs of publishing the results of the Race in an open access journal. Our first publication relevant to the Dicty World Race 2014 race has been submitted to the open access journal PLOS One and will soon be available in print. Ultimately, we aim at engaging scientists from various fields and encouraging them to think and test the most effective ways to enhance cell speed and accuracy. The microfluidic devices will accelerate progress by providing a common platform for quick screening and comparisons between strategies.
Finally, we will use the last $2,000 to support the participation of team members in a scientific conference on cell motility, where they will present the results of the Race, encourage other scientists to become involved in the next races, and reach out to the public to raise awareness of the problems related to sepsis.